Small Project Practitioners

1.  Project Management Software

Posted 12-31-2012 13:01
This message has been cross posted to the following Discussion Forums: Small Project Practitioners and Small Firm Round Table .
Happy New Year's Eve everyone,

As we start a new year, we are thinking and rethinking how we do things here in the office, always trying to make things better and more efficient.

I am on the hunt for a good, user friendly, project management software.
We have several projects going on at once, several staff asking what is due and when, and client expectations to manage.
Can any of you recommend good software to help do this?
Something visual, that is either online or/and has an iPad app.
We don't need any accounting incorporated into it, we have quickbooks for that.

Thank you!
All the best.

Jean Dufresne AIA
SPACE Architects + Planners
Chicago IL

2.  RE:Project Management Software

Posted 01-01-2013 07:11
Hi! We've been working through the same issue and have been using Asana ( It works via web interface, and has a smart phone app. We like that you can assign priorities / tasks by project and team member, etc. we found this via Dropbox, which Asana can link with - also very helpful. It's for project task organization only - no budgeting, cost tracking capabilities (that we see). Another we have considered is Daylite - via Hope that helps! ------------------------------------------- Michael Hall AIA Architect/Partner Studio Crowley Hall Washington DC -------------------------------------------

3.  RE:Project Management Software

Posted 01-02-2013 11:55
If you want free software that is loosely based on MS Project you can download OpenProj.  Maybe the others that Mr. Hall are referring to are also free - I don't know.

Here is a link:

Not sure what platform you need, but it may be for Windows only.
Ken Brogno AIA
Architect AIA LEED AP
San Francisco CA

4.  RE:Project Management Software

Posted 01-02-2013 13:43
Please try Open Project or Open Proj, which I use and which is an open source (free) program.

Daniel Alter AIA
Daniel Alter Architect PLLC
Brooklyn NY

5.  RE:Project Management Software

Posted 01-02-2013 14:23
Hi, we have been using a combination of software packages depending on the complexity of the project and the clients.  For our larger, more complex clients, we use Toodledo, OfficeTime and Fast Track Schedule.  For smaller projects we use Toodledo, OfficeTime and Merlin (which feeds directly into a number of accounting solutions).  Lastly for consulting projects only we use Toodledo and OfficeTime (which feed into Excel/Numbers and our accounting software as needed).  All four PM software's have iDevice apps that sync wirelessly via WiFi and with exception of OfficeTime, all of them have web publishing and editing capabilities.

We like OfficeTime for it remote updating ability, especially when we are out of the office for several days at a time.  It reporting mechanism is very fast, efficient and reliable.  However this app is Mac OSX and iOS only, but its integration with the iCal database makes it a joy to work with as Merlin reads and writes to the same database.  The awesome feature is that one can plan in Merlin, BusyCal or Calendar and OfficeTime will read it and can be used to track and report the actual values.

We really like Toodledo because like Evernote, its is everywhere and on all machines, platforms and devices we use. We use it as our hub for coordination of projects, tasks, milestones, etc in real time among our staff regardless of where they are working from.  Its available for both Mac & PC as well as for all types of Tablets and Smartphones (not just iOS).

We use Fast Track Schedule and Merlin much the same way we used to use MS Project and they feed into and read MSP files natively.  In terms of GUI and work flow I prefer Merlin, but its report formatting, though workable, is a bit weak.  Fast Track Schedule on the other hand is state of the industry software and a staple for our institutional and commercial clients.  Though it is an industry standard, it can seem unwieldy for smaller residential or TI projects.  This is where I believe Merlin excels as these project don't necessitate the same level of reporting as commercial and institutional clients require.  In either case, both are equally capable for planning, scheduling and tracking project costs and resource loading.

I hope this helps.  You can find out more about these apps at 

OfficeTime (
Toodledo (
Fast Track Schedule  (
Merlin (

Ricardo Ramos Assoc. AIA, LEED® AP
Arcadia CA

6.  RE:Project Management Software

Posted 01-02-2013 07:50
I have recently been exploring the same issue and found two free tools that might be of use: Timeli is a free app that I found for iPads that allows for the creation of Gantt charts. Sharing can be done by exporting a pdf or emailing a range of dates. It doesn't allow for multiple users. You can add multiple tasks to each item. It is graphic and simple. This is like a simple, scaled down free version of Microsoft project. Trello is an online tool that allows a team to organize or view "boards". Boards contain topics that can have tasks, images, and attached files. The nice thing is that this can be very dynamic and you can be notified if something changes or someone adds new information. It's a web tool (uses any browser) but is also an app so you can have it on your phone or iPad too. I use it to communicate with a team of designers that are geographically separated by assigning task and they can mark percent complete or completed tasks (also uploading completed drawings or renderings too). I also use a different board to work with collaborators and share ideas. I also imagine one could share a board with a client too. ------------------------------------------- Karl Daubmann AIA Blu Homes Ann Arbor, MI

7.  RE:Project Management Software

Posted 01-03-2013 10:29
Please note that Open Project can be used on both Windows and Mac machines and I have been using it on a Mac with Mountain Lion (OSX 10.8.2) without any issues.

Daniel Alter AIA
Daniel Alter Architect PLLC
Brooklyn NY